Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lamore Ring in Celadon

I have this ring in three colors: a burnt orange, a lovely purple and this light mossy celadon. The flower is of vintage Lucite with a small glass, ivory-colored bead for the center. It's riveted onto a wide (.25") sterling band. This is the first one I've made in the green. The Lamore Ring in all three colors is available in my Etsy shop.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Forest Fably Necklace

Another take on a design I've made before. It was similar, but, um, different. The large honey-colored agate is bezel set in sterling. Oxidized and brushed back for an antiqued feel. Chalcedony heishi decorate the chain, which clasps in front with another swirl. The pendant of this necklace is almost 4" long. Not for the faint of heart! This is what you wear when you are galumphing through the tulgey wood. If you are going, you can get this Forest Fably Necklace in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

After The Rain Stacking Rings

This is actually a design that I've made before. It was a while ago and I only made one. I saw it again when I was flipping through my design sketch book and thought I'd made a newer version of it. This time I've forged a wider, heavier hammered band for the main ring. The two side rings are also heavier and hammered. It gives the whole thing a more organic feel. I like the look of the three rings not being the same width. And, of course, they can be worn together or individually. Obviously, due to the way the mushrooms? droplets? antennae? are created, each ring is one-of-a-type. This one is a size 7.5. I call this design After the Rain and it's currently available in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I Finally Made It Up That Mountain!

That's right, I finally made it to (my first*) 1000 sales on Etsy!
Yah me!

*hope springs eternal...

Monday, March 9, 2009

DIY Table Display - Part II

This is a continuation of this post about creating a new table display. To the right is a picture of the finished earring hangers on my table.

The other problem with my table display that I was pondering was a clean way to hang several necklaces that would also be secure (this is a euphemism for grubby hands not stealing from me). I was also looking for something that had height. Previously I had branches in a jar. This looked cool, but could only accommodate a few necklaces, the necklaces kept falling off them, they were hard to transport - they kept breaking so I'd have to find more - and were dangerously poky. I needed something nice looking, sturdier, portable and practical. I had an idea, I just needed to realize it.

The idea was to have cylinders of some sort, about the size of a neck, standing on the table somehow. After talking it out a bit with my neighbor Mary, I came to carpet tubing as the base for these new displays. It's the perfect diameter and quite heavy. Getting a free carpet tube is easy. Getting it home is another story. They are 13 feet long and I drove home very slowly with it sticking forward out the passenger side window, careful not to take out any bicyclists. The photo (above, left) is three 3 foot sections. There is also a 4 foot. To try to cover up their tubyness and to prime them for painting, I used gesso to give them a bit of texture. If you click on the picture on the right, you can see it. I don't think I successfully disguised the tube - that would have taken several more layers of gesso, adding days and weight - but that is actually fine. In the photo, you also see the spine of nails I hammered in from the top, every 2", until about a foot from the bottom. These are to hang the jewelry from. Finally, I gave them a couple of coats of paint. I wanted a dark color to offset the necklaces, but felt black was too stark. I color-matched a cloth I use on the other side of the table. It's a nice dark olive color and balances the table. The last thing I had to worry about was stability. How would they stand up to people bumping the table and touching the necklaces without falling over? To give a bit of stabilizing weight to bottom, I created little sand bags that I can carry separately and stuff into the tubes when setting up.

Here are the tubes and the earring hangers as part of my whole table. I've used the new displays once so far and they seem to work well. The tubes hold a lot of necklaces and I think they look great. The color pulls the table together. I even got a few compliments on my table from shoppers too!

Friday, March 6, 2009

DIY Table Display - Part I

Last year I upgraded my tabling display and was pretty happy with it. The problem was that it had all of my earrings laying down. I thought that many of them would be better presented if they were hanging somehow, but I wanted the hanging apparatus - whatever that might be - to fit in with the new decor. Since I was starting the Portland Saturday Market this month, I wanted to find something new. I looked and looked. Everywhere. Too many places. I finally found what I wanted at Ikea. It was simple and straightforward; basically just a bar on a stand. Perfect! Only they didn't have it anywhere - not online, not in any store that I checked. Shit. So I kept looking. The other evening I started wandering around a craft store to come up with something to make. The staff was beginning to wonder about me because I was there for so long, wandering around, back and forth. I basically knew I was going to use two dowels to make a bar and stand, but what to use as a base? It finally came to me: small plant pot! I found the dowel that was the size of the hole in the bottom of the pot. Once at home, I sawed the dowels to size and nailed the pieces together. I then glued them for extra strength. Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures (I *thought* I did...), but after the glue was set, I gessoed the bars as primer and to give them a little texture. They were then painted black. The plant pots work great, but needed something to stablize the bars, so inside is a chunk of styro fitted to the pot with a hole for the stick. Perfect! Total cost was about $2.50 (I had the gesso and paint). It goes to the test tomorrow and I hope to remember to take pictures of the finished product and how it looks on the table.

Today's Reality Check: Refugee Camps in America

"Newly homeless couple Tammy Day and husband Keith cook potatoes over a campfire at a tent city in Sacramento. As foreclosures in the area rise and the economy worsens, more and more folks are moving into the camp."

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Fifteen. At the time I'm writing this, that's how many sales I am away from the huge milestone of 1000 sales. I've been trying to be cool about it, but I'm obsessively checking my shop (not that I don't check it a bazillion times a day anyway). And, of course, sales have slowed to an absolute crawl. It's like turning 40; it's just a number, right? Wrong, I'm way excited about it. Come on 15!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Caught Necklace

I had been doing a few Floating Heart necklaces and was making another when one thing lead to another and I created this one with a sort of web in it. It can mean many different things to different people. I know what it means to me, but I ain't tellin'. Because of the way they are made, this necklace is one-of-a-type (I may make more, but none will be exactly alike). This Caught Necklace is available in my Etsy shop.